December 29, 2008


by John Rocco

I first read ON THE ROAD
in 1957
(I was 10 years old
in the floating red clouds
as they say in
The Tibetan Book of the Dead
I was floating toward the
vibrating reflections of
my copulating parents
but I lost and hate my father
and felt like Dean in Denver
but I always loved my mom
Jack in Queens smashing the Underwood
and she cooked him roast beef and potatoes, lamb chops,
apple pie, turkey sandwiches, meatloaf, cranberry sauce).
I dropped my unborn Sunday coffee
in 1957
reading about frozen fixed bayonets war
and the cops who broke into
Ed Gein’s hell farmhouse.
But the nowhere copulation clouds
have a way of righting themselves
not with compass or metaphysics
but with thumbs and empty stomachs.
Floating unborn unknowing
America growing in my eyes
before eyes were invented.
America growing in roads and waves
and bars and cities and songs and
meeting people who love you
and then don’t.
America growing always and the
more you move the more it grows,
Dr. Sax on the sidelines.
I first read ON THE ROAD
before everything
and I don’t believe in anything.
The red vibrations are coming
faster now so I have to end it:
the only thing too much about
ON THE ROAD is that
it blots out all early memories
and Kerouac’s other
true fictions
in the great fucked-up womb
of everything.
I’m almost born now
reading SATORI IN PARIS (1966)
and he smelled of booze in the
Bibliothèque Nationale
looking up the family name
and wrote Joyce thunderwords
to wake us
and we are born in Queens
to traffic noise
hearing him type it.

December 28, 2008

our waitress at the farm themed restaurant

wore a green john deere hat
and striped overalls.

as she leaned in
telling my year and a half old son
he was well mannered
such a cutie

my wife smiled with pride
and i tried to focus
on my eggs.


i went there alone.

sat in the corner
pretending not to watch her.

just go jack off in the bathroom
and get the hell out of here,
said a voice.

i imagined her
six months down the road
nagging me for a ring.

you're thirty
she might not even be eighteen,
said another voice.

i pictured my wife
alone in the rain.

but she slid the check on my table
and either our hands touched
or i imagined it.

but there was lightning

for the first time
in years.

by Justin Hyde

December 27, 2008

SquamousCell Carcinoma

by George Anderson

It first appears as a spec
like the fleck on the outer
flesh of a suspect

In the days that follow it breaks the
surface of my left cheek-
its core splitting
open. Morphing. Forming a
black scab. Shedding. Then
cleaving open again:


I visit Thirroul Medical Centre
& Dr Walker refers me to a
plastic surgeon. I open his letter of referral. It reads:

‘Thanks for seeing the patient who has a ?BCC on his L pre auricular region for excision’.

Eight stabs of local & my cheek is numb in fifteen minutes.
I am asked to turn on my right side. Dr Salmon goes to work.

There is a quick deep cut of the blade
& an ice cream scooping motion 3-10mm below the scab.
A rough scraping back & forth like the scaling of a fish..
A spraying sound and the smell of burning flesh.
My flesh.

‘What I’m doing, reassures Dr Salmon, is using an electric probe to electro-desiccate any remaining microscopic cancer cells’.

I feel a tightening of flesh as it is stitched up in a series of sutured loops.

All done, he says.

I sit in the foyer waiting for my son to ring
I watch and take notes as patients come & go through the aluminium framed door
my bandage like a wide white sideburn in the window
A dull ache emerging.

*George Anderson's blog:

December 26, 2008


by R.B. Morgan

My friend the bartender
With his gigantic ex-wrestler
Grace and ferocity
Throws me out the door,

He does not want
To injure my mangled legs.
He is kind. He knows how they
Came to be the heavy half of history
I drag behind.

All I wanted was one good shot,
The lightening jolt of electricity
From fist to arm to restart
Head and heart and cock;
To shut that punkass loudmouth hick
Right the fuck up.

My friend, the bartender, says,
When he's sure I can stand again,
Just a couple days, man.
'Til then you're eighty-sixed

Now it is Christmas Eve.
My friend the bartender wears
A Santa hat.
I am safely back on the cracked-plastic
Of the rusted barstool.
The skinny hick has disappeared.
Stories about a ball-bat, fractured leg.
Rumors fly like blizzard driven snowflakes
This holiday time of year.

Santa and his muscles and the scars
Around his eyes pours a double Wild Turkey
With a little water back.
Bless you, child, I tell him, because I have
Been given the gift of ten Vicodin.
All my pain sleeps in the
Tangles of my brain stem
And angels sing.

The bartender turns, shaking his head
At another beaten down lousy bum.
He pretends a limp and says,
Sure, dawg, sure. How's that go?
I drink the double down and burn
In the proof of its flame.
God bless us, I say,
More broken than I have ever been,
God bless us every one.

December 25, 2008

my father's drawer in the basement

by Justin Hyde

a few
college psychology textbooks
and some
poorly written essays
with pathetic doodles
in the margins.

the sum total
of his
intellectual life.

i don't have a drawer.

i've got
ten plastic tubs
full of
spiral notebooks:

there's a couple pages
about wanting to abort my son
when i first found out
my wife was pregnant,

drafts of poems
about fucking
gutter cunts
in bar restrooms

cheating on
my wife


wanting to
mother in law.

everything my boy needs
to see his old man's
got the heart of a paperclip
and the soul
of a flea.

but there's this too
you little
snooping bastard.

i love you.

December 24, 2008

driving the wedge

by Justin Hyde

derrick would rather be
hit by a truck
than hurt anyone's feelings,
but colton says whatever
pops into his mind,
says the guy
drinking next to me
at southport.

he's telling me
how his ex-wife
has a boyfriend
living with her
and his two boys.

says his boys
never talk about the guy
when he has them
on weekends:
how the older boy
might be protecting his feelings,
but the younger boy
blabs about everything.

doesn't make any sense,
you'd think
they'd have something to say
about the guy
one way or
the other,
he says
finishing off
his beer.

i ask my ex
about him
but she says
none of my business.
she just keeps
driving the wedge,
he says
spinning the empty glass
like a top
while pretending
to laugh.

December 22, 2008

& alarm bells keep ringing

by Wolfgang Carstens

every morning
i turn off
alarm bells
get out of bed
& before anything
i smoke
a cigarette
on the back step
w/ my head
in my hands
the noose
even the sound
of singing birds
pisses me off
i just can't seem
to wake up
in a good mood
can't find
a good reason
to pull me
can barely
muster the guts
to get off
these steps
& go
back inside
it's all fucked up
it's done
send in the clowns
why end it now
so quickly
these days
is lurking
right around
the corner
& my bed
once a symbol
of comfort
& security
is feeling
more & more
like an open grave
soon enough
i will
sleep in

getting dirty

by Wolfgang Carstens

civil court today
trying to evict
asshole deadbeat tenants
from rental property
putting me inside
heart of downtown
a shithole i try to avoid
whenever possible
walking beside dregs
men & women in suits
& skirts & undesirables
begging for dollars
cigarettes & crumbs
air is thick w/ ego
violence & eruptions
there is more raw energy
in their unwashed hands
& hair than suits
i am a block away from
the courthouse
the judge
those asshole tenants
who refuse to pay
refuse to get the fuck out
when like a child spun
around in too many circles
he rounds the corner
staggering towards me
like a switchblade
do you have a buck
got a buck
got a buck
buddy you got a buck
no man i ain't got no buck
hell i ain't got no smoke
smoke he says smiling
w/ elephant shit lips
white paint encrusted lips
reaching into his shirt pocket
he pulls out a smoke
& hands it to me
green death my favorite
thanks man thanks a lot
he smiles he's very happy
the tables have turned
& he's the good guy
the one wearing the suit
he walks past singing
happier than he was before
i toss the cigarette
into the gutter
like it's contagious
& continue
towards the courthouse
the judge
those deadbeat tenants
to have escaped w/out
getting dirty

December 20, 2008

Jack Palance

by John Rocco

When I was a kid
there was the
Goddess Television
who taught me to
Believe It or Not
Jack Palance
hissing it out
with school tomorrow
and all the girls I loved
loving others
singing the school song:

Remember the walls
Remember the bricks
Remember the dicks
In P.S. 26.

Then the Glass Teat Goddess
gave me celestial head
with a black & white
Jack as Jack Wilson
skinny evil gunslinger
death bullets grinning
saying before he shoots them:
“Prove it.”

Then I’m older
hiding among a million
porn DVDs
smoking glowing in their plastic
I find Commie Spaghetti Western
with Jack as pot smoking
crazy sadist
reminding me that I’ve
grown up with Jack Palance
who always played the bad guy
doing one-handed push-ups
at the Oscars after saying:
“Billy Crystal? I crap bigger than him."


by Howie Good

My grandfather had a bad heart.
The doctors warned him

about smoking a pack a day
and drinking slivovitz,

the plum brandy that tastes
like nail polish remover smells,

but he didn’t listen.

One day he collapsed in the street.
Someone screamed.

Someone else ran to the firehouse for help.
A fireman who had been shining

a fire truck, a pump and ladder, ran out.
My grandfather looked dead.

He wasn’t moving at all.
He wasn’t even moaning.

The fireman gave him mouth-to-mouth.
People later said it was lucky

he collapsed right outside a firehouse.
Otherwise, they said, he wouldn’t be here.

Then my grandmother got sick and died,
and my parents got old themselves.

They put my grandfather into a nursing home.
He would quietly unzip and pee in the hall.

*a review of Howie's new chapbook:

today, at the hospital

by David LaBounty

there are forms
to fill and waivers
to sign. I wonder
about the difference
between customer
and patient as
my wife is
taken behind
some wall
she is pondered
and poked and
I sit alone
in the waiting
room. I have two
dollars in
my wallet
and to my
name and
my mind
is trying
to navigate
my way through
the ensuing

I stop,
and try
to read a


there is no escaping here.

December 18, 2008

what makes their eyes go dead?

by nila northSun

you always hear how their eyes
were black holes
as they committed some
like the man
who just stomped his
2 year old to death
killing him way past dead
last weekend in california
or the woman who
drove a knife repeatedly into
her aging father's back
or even my cousin
as he held his young wife's
shot gurgling body down
so it could bleed out
while family and cops
stood in horror
and we saw black holes
dead eyes in his face
he didn't even look like my cousin
some zombie stranger instead
just like the father killing his
baby son
people holler
people grab at them
they don't hear
their black eyes don't see
they just do what they do
as if possessed

where is the chemistry in this?
somebody tell me
there is an explaination
and don't tell me about the devil
tell me how
the 'normal' person
suddenly does these things?
the good neighbor
the good co-worker
the good child
don't tell me about the devil
but i do believe
their soul is gone
how did that happen?
what ate it up?
and can we make it stop doing that?

*nila northSun at Wikipedia:

chapter one of my seventeenth life

by Justin Hyde

my first date
since getting divorced
is with a
hispanic hairdresser
i met at suzy Q's.

she lives
in a small trailer park
behind perkins.
hands me a beer,
says make myself at home
while she finishes the
fried rice
and stuffed jalapenos.

out front
her thirteen year old son
is taking the hubcaps
off her
rusted out nissan.
he's got four
platinum coated ones
spread out
on a
green army blanket.

he's having trouble
getting the
new ones on.

need any help?
i ask.

he doesn't say anything.
just sneers.
but he
hands me
one of the new ones.

i bend down
and line it up.
these new ones
are for eighteen inch rims
your mom's
are fifteen inch rims,
i tell him.

his lips go thin,
then he kicks the blanket
with the other rims
goes inside
and starts screaming at his mother
in spanish.

then he
slams his bedroom door
and starts blasting
rap music.

he's embarrassed
to have me
drive him to school
in my car.
but i won't let him
get rides with older kids
cause he'll never
make it to school,
she says.

where'd he get
those rims,
probably cost
couple hundred
a piece.

i don't
want to know,
she says.
then she
looks at me apologetically.
he's a handful
but he'll be
out of the house
soon enough,
she smiles
and takes me
by the arm
like a king.

She Doesn’t Deserve This

by John Rocco

She told him
this crazy story about herself.
When she was young she
went out with this guy too old for her
did too many drugs
and told her mother she would kill herself.
They came and handcuffed her
and took her away in an ambulance
still handcuffed
to this drafty tower
where she was handcuffed to a bar
on the wall
except for a dead guy.
She knew he was dead immediately
but they left him there
with her for four hours
to teach her about death.
They came four hours later
covered him with a sheet
and finally took him away.

He asked her: “Didn’t it scare you?”
But she said: “No. It was just
a dead guy. I knew he was dead.
He smelled and I just wanted them
to take him away.”

It was Beauty
and Death
in that tower
and she fucking won.

Bourbon Burlesque

by John Rocco

I ♥ New Orleans
bumper sticker
on the back wall
near long strippers
mirrored mirrors
Johnny Guitar at the bar.

There was Vena
(big tits and slightly
cross-eyed sweet face
she was shocked to
see us later in the Abbey).

There was Rachel
(“All of Hitchcock,”
she said. They called
her D.C. Her secret:
secret Deadhead.
She asked me:
“Do you want
to see my ass?”
on the long hard bench).

There was Francie
(raven tresses
beautiful sweaty
slightly pimpled
she said to me,
mid lap-dance:
“I really love acid.”)

There is Golden Joan down on
pointing her gold sword at the sky.
She keeps it up for all of us.

December 16, 2008


by R.B. Morgan

When I see in a mirror,
Whatever stares back
Is my own sick disaster.
I am drunk and write a letter
To the kid who
Will remember:
Here's your chance, boy,
Come slay the dragon.
Your loving father,
Semper fi.

Months down the road I get:
Don't tempt me you
Worthless mutherfucker.
Diyala is heaven
Compared to you.
Don't write me no more.
I'm shipping out for my 3rd tour.

He's the one who always gets me.
I'm laughing and high.
Takes time to strike blood
In a withered vein.
He's gulping forties,
Paying mean money
For meaner pussy,
Staff Sergeant Aye-Aye,
Most rikky-tik, chop-chop you faggots,
Living the life in the USMC.

He's got the humor,
And close to the laughter,
The kind trapped in jails or
Strapped down in locked wards.
I gave him those;
A couple of back hands.
Don't remember.
There must have been more.

But I know my boy, his bent
Sense of duty.
He was the kid,
Just used to slay me.
I'm laughing my guts out.
He'll get me back,
Don't worry.
He was locked on
To me
The day he was born.


by Stephen Jarrell Williams

Languid in your bed
almost asleep

belly shirt
and nothing else

sheet tangled
around one leg

seeing the unseeable
hazy vision

tell me
you spied

on our mystery
delaying only

our union

and did we
smoke when it was over?

December 14, 2008

A moment in time

by Maria Gornell

I watched the world pass me today
mobile silent in my pocket
back ached
fatigue overwhelmed
monotony of day
wax, shopping, home
heard the excitement
in young girls murmurs
'weekend plans'
i with none of my own..

Thoughts back to last night
'our fight'
seems so irrelevant now
new dawn hung on horizon
new cycle for you and i
staring at church steeple
in the distance
of this forgotten town

I wore a mask, smiles
tinged with sadness
if i could only transform
loneliness into aloneness
taking back my power
strong woman not
having to depend
on man to define
who i am..

world is empty
without you
difference now
no flames to rekindle
nothing died
this connection
we share is
so so rare
it frightens me
being hurt beyond
repair, we are one
and so i push you

Makes no sense
its almost surreal
neither able
to live without
slow whispers
of infinity
my love spins
in all directions
from enthralling
to destructive
never ceasing
to amaze
even me..

Mobile vibrates
in pocket
sky no longer
lonely grey
clouds lift
a moment
in time
your gentle
voice draws me
makes me
its all about
this precious
in time..

*Maria Gornell at MySpace:

Concrete jungle

by Maria Gornell

Wishy washy streets
concrete towers
stalking my dreams
dismal and drab
dreary and destitute
This is the place
where I grew up;
single mothers
strong and determined,
fathers absent
children in a
digital world.
Destroyer of souls
dangerous to be
smoke infested
lung cancer looms
a life in ruins.
alcohol booms.
An underclass looms..
No fondness for
this place
in fields i used
to roam;
youths on the
back seat
of the bus
don't make a fuss
smell of skunk in
the air
and they just stare
filth on the
numb now
to this place.
old man weary
tattered and dirty
eyes speak of
utter despair.
this is the place
where i grew up
only the gangsters
making a buck,
wasted talent
forgotten dreams
and i just stare
no longer care
I don't want to
die in this
forgotten world..

December 11, 2008


by Howie Good

“You aren’t quite right for us,” he says.

He isn’t looking at me when he says it.
He’s looking at the screen of his cell phone.

Where to now?
It’s a hot day, and it promises to get hotter.

I start walking.
The folder tucked under my arm
might as well be empty for all the good
the papers inside have done me.

A woman up ahead
has a lovely, heart-shaped ass.

I can feel the sweat break out on my back.
I’m not sure this is the right direction.
My legs ache.
There’s a metallic taste in my mouth

I tell myself this is the right direction.
I breathe in, I breathe out.

Etc. and so on.

*check out Howie's new chapbook:

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

by John Rocco

I was drinking
tequila and beer chasers
with the losers of literature.
At the bar were Onan, Elpenor,
Hector, Dr. No, Hugo Drax,
Dignam, Roy blinking light
his soul a dirty pigeon in
Blade Runner.
We did another shot
no salt, no lemon
no additions for losers
and as I’m looking at
the wet bills on the bar
Onan starts jerking off violently
and Elpenor falls of the stool
and breaks his neck and Hector
is sliced up like dog food on
his final chariot ride and
Dr. No gets buried in tons
of bird shit while Drax
gets caught cheating at bridge.
Dignam is buried.
Roy pulls the filthy pigeon
out of his chest and holds
it up to me. It is crawling
with lice and ticks and scorpions.
I have never seen anything
more beautiful.

December 10, 2008


by David Oprava

The re-run TV glow on low,
shades slowed, he lays twitching
in samsaric-bug sutra wed to the bed

whose sheets crooked-swell in small
lapping wavelets stained
with lost semen washed across them;
this is his shipwreck.

His un-cut minnow strains chained
by the furious fist of a skipper's chubby choking,
fantasizing her amidst the strewn debris

of the last decade, whose idea was
it to take this boat into shallow water
he wonders as his harpoon shoots
more white whales in the deep.

Weeping, he sleeps off the sombre
and dreams sweet Mary Ann and Ginger

She left the key for the final time,
the ring of the phone taken off,
the finger thrown hard against

the wall where it lays next to dirty pants
lingering in that last glace and phrase,
you plonker.

Wraps himself in the sails
and stays bereft inside,
hiding from himself,
the real reason she left.


by David Oprava

Love's ready,
got his pulling pants,
tight black lap-dance
ball enhancers,

monster cocking
loud loud loud
in the gloom of his basement
room, hidden from sight

waiting for someone
to turn on the stairwell
light, the bare bulb hanging
black in the creaking space

below the lives that trundle
on above bitter-hearted
lonely down there
he listens to the listless

footfalls of the people
who banished him from
doing any more harm.
Love screams...

but no one listens,
they're too busy fucking.

*Dave's website:

December 9, 2008

What I Saw When I Thought I Was Having a Heart-Attack

by Zachary C. Bush

DeadEnds and other street signs led me
towards The Last Exit Highway Horizon
turning pink pussy into brown meat
with a crackle and pop on the stovetop hot
flashes of The Girl expecting blue-skinned
babies to wash up silently with the stain-red tide
across a country road layered with black-ice frosting.

*from All Avenues Lead To The Vortex [vol. 1] (chapbook)

Untitled Dream That Led Me To Stop Believing

by Zachary C. Bush

Half asleep walking
Through paths of ash
and broken glass
the wind whips
the tops of the waves.

I hear the howling
of the winter-winds
and feel sticky sand
between my toes.

These Elders, pale and thin, are crouched
behind the high-reed, rolling dunes. They
are watching me, watching The Girl,
watching the blue-skinned children
wash up with the stain-red tide.

The sea recedes back
into its gut. The air reeks
of rotting fish and burnt eggs:
my many nightmares of you.

And I am falling while standing
up. I awake, and touch
The soles of my burning feet
They are caked thick with
The Ash of The Dead.

*from All Avenues Lead To The Vortex [vol. 1] (chapbook)

*Zach's blog: DECAPSWAN.

December 8, 2008

No Catchy Title

by Misti Rainwater-Lites

husband sprays himself with foul deodorant
to disguise his b.o.
he’s off to the post office
to mail two packages to eBay customers
baby is sleeping
mama is looking with dread
at drawers that need to be organized
wondering where in the hell
the student loan correspondence is
no side effects from Cymbalta
insurance is too expensive
can always go to Mexico
and load up on meds
almost Halloween
wearing a mask
once a year
is not enough
there should be more days
of hiding behind something
more days of treats
without tricks
am I whining out loud again?
so sorry
give me five seconds
to stiffen my upper lip
put on my big girl panties
and pull up the straps
of my combat boots

*Misti's blog:

Toe Salad

by John Rocco

I don’t know why
but I’m constantly
sticking women’s feet in my mouth:
strangers,strippers, hookers, the girl next door.
The debasement of the senses
and the bottom of things:
ass, feet, toes, ass, heels, toenails, chipped nailpolish
is the best.
Oh Rose
the invisible guy mouth
who drinks in the night
has found out your naked feet
and licks them
and your life is saved
for the bottom of things:
endings, steps, approaches, flip flop exotica
wiggling piggies
in my mouth
endless choking thirst for giggling girl feet.
Girl Feet are Eternal Delight.

December 7, 2008

sipping a screwdriver at the ghetto bar half mile from my house

by Justin Hyde

i’ve never been here before,
but a young black
was shot and killed
out in the parking-lot
three days ago.

second shooting in six months.

city council’s holding an emergency meeting
next thursday

going to shut them down permanent.

figured i’d check it out
before it becomes another empty building
on douglas avenue
plastered with realtor signs.

split down the middle
blacks and bosnians

occupancy sign says forty-five
which is a joke

more than that
around three pool tables
against the back wall.

bartender tells me
he’s sitting alright,
has a job lined up
selling cars
over in boone.

hit the second screwdriver
laying down the tip
when a heavy-set mulatto
trashed out of her skull
taps me on the shoulder.

my friends think you’re an under cover cop,
she says
lips barely moving,
talking from a pinpoint
miles behind her eyes.

she manages to point out
the table full of
50cent rap-video
throwing me heavy

doesn’t take good taste
to pull the trigger,
i think to myself
and ask how i can prove
i’m not a cop.

take some shots off my tits,
she says
pulling a
sloppy-bazooka out.

pours three test tubes
full of lemon-drops.

they go.

Mary through the wall

by Ed Makowski

She always got home
later than us

we'd be laying there
in the dark
with the windows open
and begin to hear it again

giggling and shuffling

then the clothes would come off
and they'd move to the bed

at first she'd coach the guy,
her voice encouraging like a
preschool teacher

you could hear her grin through the wall

she'd begin making sounds,
light gasps became gentle sighs
that elongated into moans and
rolled their way into
big flopping orgasms

at some point we'd hear the guy
for about ten seconds
sound tortured
then sigh and
roll over

we'd giggle about it
and sometimes, just for fun,
decide to compete
with them

Mary's moaning wound down, then
someone would get up for
the bathroom

the next morning
my girl would begin to cook breakfast.
She was great like that.

Mary would come out of her room
find two glasses and
pour something to drink, then
lean against the kitchen counter in underwear
grinning like a queen post-douche.

moments later
a guy I'd never seen before
would lumber into the kitchen
make a point to shake my hand
and introduce himself as though
he thought I cared and
it meant something

I'd look over at my girl
handling a kitchen utensil
and our eyes would share a laugh

Mary would flit around the apartment
her big dull breasts shaking
nipples erect through a tanktop, while
the guy would try to decide
how to go about it

one morning
my girl left for work
and I stayed in her bed
nearly until noon.
When I woke up
there was no other guy.

I sat on the couch
pulling on my boots
those same flopping breasts
nipples jiggling through a white tank top
with each step
Mary smiled and talked small things while
wearing tiny underwear
and strutting around the apartment,
telling me she
had the entire day off.
She grinned at me and shrugged,
"No plans at all..."
I watched her breasts move
and wondered if that hurt.

Her hard nipples I'd seen
a hundred times
now grinning at me

While watching her butt wiggle
walking around her house
small shiny panties
I thought about it
but not too hard

George W. Bush Ate My Pussy Then Paid Me $10,000

by Misti Rainwater-Lites

woke up turned on
from this george w. bush dream
his office was over a crappy childcare facility
i walked up the stairs intending to leave a note
in a basket then walk out the door
before he could kill me
the note was about my brother's schizophrenia
and the war in iraq, mostly
but when i entered the office
george w. bush was very gregarious
and glad to see me
he skimmed the note then tossed it aside
i don't remember our brief conversation
what i do remember is george w. bush
eating my pussy
i didn't cum
but i liked him and wanted to see him again
i understood that these things take time
when it was over and i was sticky and dressed
i said,"i hate to bring it up...but could you pay me?"
he gave me a ten thousand dollar bill and said,"i hope ten thousand dollars is enough. try to be white."
i was apologetic and ashamed saying,"i know, i know...i grew up in midland, upper middle class...attended kelview heights baptist church and we were members of the country club."
i was not offended by his racist remark
i was offended by his response when i asked if i
could see him again
he was nonchalant and noncommittal
said he would let me know in a couple of months
he would call for me if he didn't find a soul mate
with big titties
i thought that was rude
he seemed to enjoy sucking on my big nipples
and caressing my little titties
then again he was the president
and who was i to argue
i wondered about laura
as i walked down the rickety stairs
envisioned her naked in bed
still as an ancient white statue
as george licked her clit
then i approached one of the childcare employees
about applying for a job
that way i could make money
and stalk my new boyfriend
at the same time

*Misti's blog:

December 6, 2008

monarchy no more

by Karl Koweski

I barely recognized Geoff
with the Miller High Life bottle
clutched in his fist
sort of the way
you can walk past a co-worker
at Wal-Mart
and not notice him
wearing his civilian attire

Geoff! What are you drinking?
Where’s your navy blue monkey suit?
I thought you were a Budweiser man!

The king of beers is dead
Harry Carey is in the ground
Jr’s driving for an energy drink
and now the powers that be
sell the whole brewery
to a bunch of goddam Brazilians

this coming from the same man
who referred to French fries
as freedom fries
for an entire year
following 9/11

freedom fries
freedom toast
freedom salad dressing

beer tastes like donkey piss
Geoff sets the Miller down on the bar
casting a misty-eyed stare
at the neon Budweiser sign
glaring in the darkened window,
it’s not easy
being a man of principles
it takes sacrifices, brother
it takes sacrifices

December 5, 2008

My Train

by Paul David Thomas

My train to nowhere
loaded with empty luggage
and empty dreams
and streams of sleeper cars
empty of weary children.
Steam engine fueled by thoughts,
a ticket bought at empty station.
Ride, ride the ghost’s track.

A city’s creation--villains and thieves.
The day is always through the next tunnel,
but even the best runner cannot escape the night
that will not wait for late arrivals,
that will not wait to take your ticket

or throw you off at the next stop.
The vacant seats grow weary
and weeping trees lament the night.
Bottles of liquor drink themselves
and crystal wine glasses fall from lonely shelves,
and no one else,
left to call the destination.

My train to nowhere,
loaded with empty dreams
and screams from the Boxcar Children
orphaned in the dining car.
Virgin spirits drift,
and abandoned newspapers
waver in cold despair.

My train to nowhere
loaded with empty mysteries
and a city’s empty dream.

*Paul David Thomas at MySpace:

I felt like a hamburger

by Paul David Thomas

I felt like a hamburger standing in the rain
waiting for her
water and stale beer
running down my nose and chin

We agreed to meet under this tree at three
Now I am here and my shoes
covered in mud my jeans
torn from the fence
The two tickets in my back pocket
are soaked and the destination
has washed away
along with my freedom

God damn if it doesn’t rain against me
always raining when I had to work
or on my wedding day
or on the day they took me to jail.

And that night
the rain
the worst the city has
seen in years
and that
after a year of drought

Fuck irony
now I have to haul
these suitcases
back to the hotel

then go find another bar that
might still be open that
might have more whiskey
than water


by R.B. Morgan

Winter is out there,
Just below the horizon,
The great predator pacing
Down rivers of ice.
It will touch trees;
They will explode.

This is the predicted attack,
A time for dying,
When farmers lose cattle,
Machines, and fingers, and
Wives prone to wander
Just wander away.

The hard ground between the
Mudroom and barn
Is twenty years long,
With buckets in both hands,
The pick-up gone,
And the banker,
The banker who's just twenty-five.
She's already got
That mortician smile,
And those grave digger eyes.

It's coming on,
To kill down the days,
And blank out the sun.
Dark by 4:30 we work
Under droplights,
Heat our horse tanks,
Throw the phone as far as you
Can throw voices and trouble,
And lawyers and governments.
The dirty bastards.
They just won't leave
A good guy alone.
But she can, so she does.
What the hell, man.
Boy's in the war, never hear
From him. The girl, well,
The girl with her brown baby
In a welfare hotel.
He can't remember.
Could be Lincoln.

So he sits at the table,
Still in his coveralls,
One bulb burning,
A bottle half gone.
The hard frost darkness is all around.
It's just turned October.
He'll burn dinner later;
Sleep in his clothes.

Hard winter's out there.
He could give one
Good Goddamn.
Hard winter out there,
He's long past caring.
Beat a man bad enough,
He gets dangerous, cruel,
Colder than winter.
Dead but don't know it,
We see them each year.

And whatever they touch
Will freeze down solid.
Freeze them past zero,
They will explode.


by Bradley Mason Hamlin

sitting on the edge
of someone’s bed
smoking a sweet smelling joint
listening to Led Zeppelin
feeling a little bit
like a loser
but wondering
if I might be able to score
with the
chick in tight blue jeans

it’s a school day
and I feel good
that I’m not the only one
not in school
but also wish things
were different
not so desperate
and fucked up
in mind and angry in action
I’d rather be normal
than rich
but I don’t know what
normal is
and I’m poor
so I inhaled …

and sailed across
the seven seas
having Sinbad adventures
fighting mind control
reading Ian Fleming novels
fighting sea serpentsof evil
that other people
seemed not to see …

until I arrived here
all washed up
the endless shore of words
came crashing
caged images
the monkeys of mind
rattling the bars
scratching out my first epic
on the cave wall
like a pathetic cardboard sign
held by the homeless:

will write words for golden pussy

like junk
rearranging the blood cells
but more powerful
than dope
or hippy acid rock
and stoned chicks in firm clothes

wait a minute …
maybe I am a loser
back up
scratch the part about words
being better than fucking

but nevertheless
a good line
captured a good blonde.

*a couple of Brad's websites (he has a few):

Fractured Like Thin Glass And Glued Together Again

by Bradley Mason Hamlin

7 am
and Bukowski keeps me company
in the bookstore
as I rip open the cardboard boxes
heavy with overwritten works
once again
and I put away a book
then quickly sneak
and read
a Bukowski poem
then I put away another book
one for them: one for me
Bukowski and I
can make it through
the monotony,
the co-worker’s commentary
and the invisible paycheck;
I will use the dead man’s words
to give me giant sparks
of life
like capsules of speed
the way
good jazz feels creeping out of the radio
and he will surely look down
from on high and
piss a river of rain over the angels flying
to create a rare lightning
once more
even rejoined with Mozart
Bach & Beethoven
I know he must not have
how it was.

Ho-sehs run

by nila northSun

the grandson
sometimes has 'r's
sometimes doesn't
his 3 word story
told one word at a time
ho-sehs (horses)
as he retells the terrifying scene
next door there are 10 horses
wild mustangs 'adopted'
the dominant male corraled
while the females and
new foals roam
the 1 acre around a
small cabin
the owner is not home
a new stallion is allowed free
which aggravates the
corraled one
til he leaps his fences
and they fight
he draws blood
then chases the other horses
round and round they race
kicking up clouds of dust
we hear the thundering hooves
and stand on the deck
they are kicking and biting
screaming horse screams
blood on mare's hindquarters
blood on new stallions neck
around and around they race
what to do what to do?
afraid they will kill each other
we call 911
a half hour later when a cop
patrols by
the horses are just standing
he keeps going
and they take off again
and we go indoors

grandson is left with his
3 word story
ho-sehs run bite.

*nila northSun at Wikipedia:

Franco Nero

by John Rocco

Franco Nero
is my hero
eating cartons of Marlboro Reds
in vigilante movie
hiding from his revenge
then getting it
smashing bad guy in the face with a shovel
and blowing the rest away.

You will always be the one!
Djano drags the coffin wherever he goes
through the mud.

I’ve modeled myself on
Franco Nero
my hero
and I’m standing in line
in Wal-Mart
smelling of booze at 10 AM
buying cheap shit for people
for Christmas again
but this time I’m dragging
a muddy bloody coffin behind me.

I expected the people to scream,
call security:
“Quick! There’s a maniac
dragging a muddy coffin
down the diaper and baby food aisle!”
But no
the people do not freak out
and wet themselves.
The people in
understand the muddy bloody coffin
because they all pull their own dirty endless coffins.
It is my debit card
issued by the Bank of Hell.
It’s the only one that
works for me and we all know it.

The Lakeside Lounge

by John Rocco

I always thought it was named after
a horror movie
a good one
The Lakeside Massacre
horny teenagers impaled on their love
the lake of blood floating
body parts and boobs.
Tracy the bartender
(when I asked her her sign
she said STOP)
tells me it’s not
it’s named after a lake
after a lake in what state?
Hey Bone
where is the Lakeside lake?
I’m disappointed
until night occurrences occur
and I knew it when my drink
turned into the Book of Kells
Emily telling me how
Bernard Goetz, the Subway Vigilante
often brings in hurt squirrels
to her animal hospital.
I end up shirtless in the street
slapped in the face and the belly
by a beautiful nineteen-year-old.
It was a good night.

something like chekhov

by Justin Hyde

my new efficiency apartment
is like something
out of chekhov,
only there is no consumptive
blue lipped servant
to prepare the samovar
or do something
about all my belongings
in one giant pile
against the wall.
just my next door neighbor roger
(a forty-seven year old schizophrenic)
clanging a cowbell
and shouting
while watching pro wrestling.
he knocked on my door
an hour ago
and invited me over to watch friday night smackdown.
told me
the previous user of this bed
(which smells like superglue)
was deaf.
said he lived here eleven years
died in his sleep.
as i close my eyes
pondering life
in a dead man’s bed
roger throws the cowbell against the wall
and screams something about
corn-fed jews. then
i hear the mousetrap
in my bathroom
for the
third time today.

water on the brain

by Justin Hyde

we come back after our shift at burger king
unlocked our apartment door
let her in first
locked it
turned around
she was still right there
face to face in the dark
said she didn't love me anymore
she loved jack
i slept on the floor that night
went to cold storage next day
they gave me work
ran into an old friend hadn't seen in years
bought a twelve pack
drank it on his porch
went to the bar afterward
around midnight said
i hate to do this to you
but you gotta take me home
i need my insulin
knocked on my own door
she answered
had a beer in her hand
some guy standing behind her
no taller than my shoulders
had a beer in his hand
beat the shit out of him
beat the shit out of her too
threw myself out the third story window
busted my legs left wrist
when i come to in the hospital
cop standing by my bed
flicked my temple with his middle finger
said he hoped i felt like a man
how she was upstairs in icu
i'd beat her pretty bad
put water on her brain.